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Mark your diary! The 12 must-watch movies that are kicking off awards season

Including eight films nominated for the Golden Globes

By Alexia Dellner, 28 December 2016
Mark your diary! The 12 must-watch movies that are kicking off awards season

Bring on the popcorn and keep your weekends open, because awards season has officially arrived! Every winter, the big Hollywood studios release their most prestigious and buzz-worthy films for awards consideration.

This is the time of year where original ideas, true life dramas and gripping storytelling really come to life

Typically following a succession of summer blockbusters and lacklustre sequels, this is the time of year where original ideas, true life dramas and gripping storytelling really come to life. Which means that it's the perfect excuse to round up your mates and enjoy some jaw-droppingly brilliant entertainment at the cinema.

From edge-of-your-seat action and nail-biting thrillers to laugh-out-loud comedies and sweet romance, there's something for everyone in this year's awards season releases. Discover 12 movies that could very well be heading for Golden Globes glory on January 8th or even bring home an Oscar this February (which means you can get a head start on your office's Academy Awards pool this year!). Check out these top 12 buzz-worthy films below...

Nocturnal Animals

Fashion designer Tom Ford received rave reviews after his first foray into cinema (2009's A Single Man starring Colin Firth) and his second film is yet another critically-acclaimed hit. A gripping and dark (not to mention extremely stylish, of course) thriller about an art gallery owner (Amy Adams) who is haunted by her ex-husband's violent novel, which she believes is a threat against her. Nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Director. 


Sci-fi fans will love this gripping flick about an expert linguist (Amy Adams, who has been nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes) who is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications. Are these new species friend or foe? The answer will determine the future of the human race. 


The Academy loves a war-time epic and this WWII romantic drama starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard ticks all the boxes. British intelligence officer Max Vatan and French resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour go undercover as a couple for a top secret mission only to fall in love. Years later when they are happily married and starting a family together, Max's colleagues tell him that his wife may actually be a Nazi spy, and he has just 72 hours to find out the truth. 

Star Wars: Rogue One

Hooray - a new Star Wars film! This standalone movie tells the story of a band of rebels as they attempt to steal the plans to the planet-destroying Death Star in the hope of destroying it. Rogue One is set BEFORE 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, but AFTER Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Confused? Get the full Star Wars timeline here. 


Starring two of Hollywood's hottest actors, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this action-packed thriller follows two passengers who wake up 90 years too early on a spacecraft that is heading towards a distant planet. 


A historical drama over 20 years in the making and from directing legend Martin Scorsese, this is a heavy film that promises to leave audiences pondering life's bigger questions.  Two seventeenth century Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) face violence and persecution as they travel to Japan in order to track down their imprisoned mentor (Liam Neeson). A spiritual drama that is sure to garner Oscar noms for Scorsese and Neeson at least. Released 1 January, 2017.

La La Land

Starring Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress, this sweet love story has it all – singing, dancing, romance and plenty of old Hollywood glamour. Already a smash hit with film critics, Emma Stone is practically a guaranteed nominee for Best Actress. This feel-good musical is the ultimate girls night out flick. Leading the pack, this beatiful flick scored an impressive seven Golden Globe nominations. Released 13 January, 2017.

Manchester by the Sea

This powerful drama follows a solitary janitor (Casey Affleck) who, after the death of his brother, must return to his New England fishing hometown and ex-wife (Michelle Williams) to care for his teenage nephew. A moving story of grief, family relationships and dealing with the past that has critics raving about Affleck's touching performance, which has earned him a Golden Globe nod. Released 13 January, 2017.


The Academy loves a good biopic and this visually striking film starring Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following JFK’s assassination is already generating plenty of Oscar buzz, plus garnered a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination. While we can't all relate to the pressures of being America's First Lady, the traumatic experience of grief is one that will resonate with audiences far and wide. Released 20 January, 2017.


Based on a true story, you'll want to bring tissues with you for this touching film about Saroo (Dev Patel), a young Indian boy who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta before eventually being adopted by a white Australian couple (Nicole Kidman). Fast forward 25 years later and Saroo returns to India in an attempt to find his biological family. Nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globes (plus three more nominations). Released 20 January, 2017.

Hacksaw Ridge

Directed by Mel Gibson, this Golden Globes Best Picture nomination tells the true story of a World War II US Army medic Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) who won the Medal of Honor without ever firing a single bullet. Morally against violence and war, Doss was drafted and ostracised by his fellow soldiers but went on to earn their respect and admiration for his bravery, selflessness and compassion. Released 27 January, 2017.


This moving story set in 1960s Virgina is based on real-life interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) who had to fight for their love after a law prohibited their marriage. A powerful film about a beautiful love story, that's been nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress at this year's Golden Globes. Released 3 February 2017.

Now all you need to do is remember the popcorn! You'll find a wide range of movie night treats in-store and online